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Full text of "Shipping Practice"

CHAPTER XXIII
ARBITRATION

ARBITRATION is becoming increasingly popular as the
method by which disputes are settled, both commercially
and politically. From a commercial standpoint the two
main advantages are the speedy manner in which claims and
disputes are settled, and the cheaper costs.

Cases which are settled in court have to take their turn,
and much delay may be occasioned, especially when the
courts are congested. In addition to this the cost of
litigation is often more expensive and frequently outweighs
the value of the decisions when ultimately received.

To ensure the safe guidance of a case through the courts
a highly experienced legal advisor is necessary, and the
more experienced and successful such representative is
the higher are the costs which must be met.

A successful arbitrator must be a man of unbiased
opinion who measures the case from an uninterested
standpoint, favouring neither party. He is supported by the
Arbitration Act of 1889, which sets out the rules of arbitra-
tion giving to an arbitrator many of the powers of a judge,
and allowing him to use his discretion as to the costs he
will award.

The majority of charter-parties and bills of lading con-
tain an arbitration clause, stating that claims or disputes
shall be referred to arbitration, and the manner in which
arbitration shall be carried out.

The three usual methods are—

(a)  The appointment of a sole arbitrator, who makes his
decision alone, by reference to documentary evidence, but
who has the power, should he wish, to call witnesses.

(b)  The appointment of an arbitrator by each party to
the dispute. Should they fail to arrive at an agreement,
they appoint an umpire. Before this umpire the case should
be re-heard and witnesses re-examined—it is not as a rule